Europe

Irish banking inquiry: Directors and senior executives 'responsible for failure' during crisis

The inquiry in Dublin has been examining the reasons behind the 2008 banking crisis and economic crash Image copyright PA
Image caption The inquiry in Dublin has been examining the reasons behind the 2008 banking crisis and economic crash

The banking inquiry in the Republic of Ireland has found that senior executives and directors across financial institutions were responsible for the failure of banks during the financial crisis.

RTÉ said the report also found that no one single event or decision led to the failure of the banks in the lead-up to the crisis.

It found that the introduction by the banks of tracker mortgages to the Irish market was based on a "false presumption by banks of the stability of available funding at or near the European Central Bank rate".

The report also concluded that the banks became over reliant on the wholesale markets in borrowing short term to lend long term.

'Culture'

It stated that this made banks more vulnerable to a liquidity risk which was not recognised.

The report found there was a culture of "excessive executive remuneration in the banks".

It also recommends that all members of bank boards should have requisite financial skill sets and experience.

The report said they should "undergo ongoing compulsory continuing professional development appropriate to banking, to include risk and governance".

The report has recommended that risk appetite in banks should be clearly defined at board level and should be the key driver for defining overall strategy.

It has asked for a full risk assessment of new bank products on both the lending and deposit side and approved by the full board, prior to being introduced to the market.

The Republic of Ireland experienced a catastrophic financial crisis in 2008 from which it still has not fully recovered.

The country's banking sector had to be almost entirely nationalised when the bursting of a property price bubble coincided with a global downturn.

The inquiry, which began hearing from witnesses in December 2014, has been looking at the political, economic, social, cultural, financial and behavioural factors that contributed to the crisis, as well as the preventative reforms which followed.

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